26 May 2012

Myanmar police accused of beating protesters

6:01 am on 26 May 2012

Police in Myanmar have been accused of beating and detaining protesters as they broke up the country's first major demonstrations in years.

The spreading rallies against power cuts are being closely watched as a test of the new government's tolerance of public discontent.

A protest leader says several demonstrators were beaten on Thursday in the city of Pyay and six people were taken for questioning for several hours.

Nyan Win, a spokesperson for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, says three or four of its members were among those detained in Pyay.

The rallies started in Mandalay and have also spread to the city of Rangoon where about 250 people defied a police request to disperse.